One of the four people a man held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, United States has been released. On January 15, 2022, the hostage taker mentioned that he wanted to speak with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, 49, of Pakistan and referred to her as his sister.
The name of the hostage taker has yet to be released. He is not Siddiqui’s brother, according to her attorney Marwa Elbially.
“We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX,” Elbially in a statement obtained by CNN. “We implore the hostage taker to immediately release all hostages and turn himself in. We want to verify that the perpetrator is NOT Dr. Aafia’s brother who is a respected architect and member of the community. Whoever the assailant is, we want him to know that his actions are condemned by Dr. Aafia and her family.”
The hostage taker appeared to be motivated by a desire to free the Pakistani neuroscientist, two law enforcement officials told the publication. Dubbed the Lady al-Qaeda, she was accused of being involved in the series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the militant Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda against the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
Born in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, Siddiqui came to the U.S. on a student visa in 1990. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Siddiqui was arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan on July 17, 2008. She was found guilty of armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault on U.S. officers and employee on February 3, 2010 and was sentenced her to 86 years in prison on September 23, 2010.
Currently, Siddiqui is being held at Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. Her release date is May 7, 2082.